The military: Why Trump wants a parade
“Well, of course the president who claimed bone spurs to dodge the Vietnam War wants the biggest, bestest military parade ever,” said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. President Trump, apparently envious of France’s Bastille Day parade, has ordered the nation’s highest-ranking military leaders to start making plans for a grand procession of tanks, missiles, and marching soldiers down Pennsylvania Avenue. It was probably inevitable. Trump, a narcissistic authoritarian who openly admires the world’s dictatorial strongmen, no doubt “envisions a display of military might like the parades we used to see file past the Kremlin reviewing stand in the days of the Soviet Union.” But not a soul on earth “doubts the overwhelming strength of the U.S. military.” A parade would serve only Trump’s insecure ego, as tens of thousands of soldiers, generals, and spectators saluted their preening commander in chief.
Why not have a parade? asked David French in NationalReview.com. Over the past 17 years, our armed forces have destroyed ISIS’s caliphate, “toppled the Taliban, deposed Saddam, defeated the follow-on al Qaida insurgency, and—critically—kept us safe from another 9/11-style attack.” Nevertheless, it’s been almost 30 years since our last national military parade, which celebrated America’s victory in the Gulf War. Whatever Trump’s motives, our men and women in uniform deserve to be celebrated. After World War II and other wars, said Rich Lowry in Politico.com, the U.S. held military parades without becoming a dictatorship. Liberal hysteria merely plays into Trump’s culture-war strategy for riling up his base. “Just imagine a protester in a pussy hat in a Tiananmen Square–style standoff with an M1 Abrams tank.”
By all means, let’s honor America’s military men and women, said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. But there are better ways to support our service members than “a big, pointless militaristic display” designed to make Trump feel powerful. Mr. President, “if you want to show respect for the military, make the Veterans Affairs Department work.” I’m willing to give Trump his parade “under one condition,” said Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune. The parade should involve only troops who are coming home for good. Despite promising to end America’s military adventurism, Trump continues to send U.S. soldiers to endless conflicts around the world. Americans once used grand military parades to celebrate wars ending. Let’s bring back that tradition.